As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the R&A has made the decision to cancel The British Open for the first time since World War 2.
Following on from the cancellation of The Players and postponements of The Masters and the US PGA, based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and The R&A’s advisers, there was no possible way to hold the major this year in Kent.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said their absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open.
“We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart,” Mr Slumbers said.
“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.
“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.
“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with.
“In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.
“We are committed to supporting our community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”
The 149th Open will be played at Royal St George’s from 11-18 July 2021.
The 150th Open will be played at St Andrews from 10-17 July 2022.